Assessment of patients’ knowledge of their drug therapy in a healthcare facility in Nigeria
Patients’ knowledge of their medications is an important factor in ensuring adherence. Medication adherence is essential for rational drug use and derivation of optimal therapy. This study was conducted to assess knowledge of outpatients regarding their medications. A well structured questionnaire was administered to 200 patients just after being attended to at the general outpatient pharmacy of University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. One hundred and eighty (180) filled questionnaires that met the study criteria were compiled and analysed. Frequencies were calculated and differences between proportions explored using Chi-squared
test. Results showed that most patients lacked knowledge of their medications. Age and level of education was found to significantly (p<0.05) influence this knowledge; while sex had no influence. The study further revealed that lack of knowledge of drug name, indication, and
consequence of dose omission had very significant (p<0.001) influence on patients’ adherence. Thirty nine percent of patients reported that they sometimes forget to take their drugs, while 19% miss doses of their drugs for other reasons, including being busy at work/school, tiredness or when fasting. Thirty-nine (39) % stop taking their drugs when they feel better, while 19% refuse continuing their drugs for some other reasons, including side effects (76%) and bad taste or odour of the drugs. We recommend, therefore, that elaborate patient counselling, covering every aspect of medication therapy should be provided by health care professionals in order to improve patient’s medication knowledge and adherence.
Key Words: Knowledge of medication; Medication adherence; Patients; Patient counselling